The phrase, “no place like home” has nothing to do with baseball, nor does it pertain to real estate, upscale furnishings or higher standards of living. The phrase is an observation of life. Its nice to travel to exotic places, see how the “other half” lives, taste new foods, experience different cultures, discover some little-known fact to impress your friends with your Cliff Claven imitation, see some historical landmarks, hear different sounds, rythyms and language, etc. but there’s no better feeling than coming home. Home is a comfort zone, a refuge, a place where everything is known, everything is yours, and all of the rules are known. Its where you can be yourself and, above all, feel safe. But, I digress.
I believe the phrase, “no place like home”, should be part of baseball because baseball, in many respects, imitates life. The batter approaches home plate with equal amounts of confidence and fear; he feels it is time for him to leave home. He knows there is a whole lot of adventure out there and definitely wants to experience it, but he also knows of the dangers that await him. As he steps up to the plate, he knows that he has only three chances to make a clean break and leave home. He doesn’t want to fail.
For some batters, leaving home is like a walk in the park, breezing through life with no apparent effort and returning home at their own pace. However, for most batters, life is a challenge and a test of character. While trying to leave home they may strike out, which postpones their departure; the walk back to the dugout after striking out is the longest and lonliest walk ever. The batter has to fight off the negative thoughts creeping into his mind about missing an opportunity to leave home, and how long he might have to wait to have the nerve enough to try again. Even after leaving home batters are challenged at every step ofthe way; they may be hit, picked off, called out, forced out, tagged out or even left stranded at one of his stops along the way.
But if he meets all of these challenges, he eventually has a chance to go home. When he decides its time to go home, that becomes his number one priority. At every stop made along the way, he always hoped he could make it home, but had to put those thoughts in the back of his mind while he focused on each challenge along the way. Now that he is headed for home his only thought is to reach home safely, nothing else enters his mind. That’s the whole point of the game isn’t it?! Get home safe.
When the batter reaches home safely he is filled with joy and relief. Adrenalin rushes through his body as he is greeted by loud-cheering family and friends. All of the challenges and hardship met along the way are quickly forgotten and replaced by feelings of thanks and praise for his safe return. There is no feeling like it — there is no place like home.
Thought for the Day: A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. George Moore